7 AN107 Dataforth Corporation

Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831 but in that same year the American physicist Joseph Henry (1797-1887) independently also discovered electromagnetic induction. However, Faraday received the credit for this discovery because his results were published first. Joseph Henry, nonetheless, became famous for much of his individual work. In particular, he is famous for the discovery of self-inductance associated with a coil of wire. After his death and in his honor, the unit of inductance was given the name “Henry”.

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Practical Thermocouple Temperature Measurements
Preamble The theory of thermocouple behavior is discussed in Dataforth’s Application Note AN106, Reference 8. The reader is encouraged to examine this Application Note for thermocouple background and fundamentals. For additional details on thermocouple interface products the reader should visit Dataforth’s website, Reference 2. There is an abundance of additional information available on thermocouples from various sources. The interested reader is encouraged to visit those references listed at the end of this Application Note. Thermocouple Types Thermocouples have become standard in the industry as a cost effective method for measuring temperature. Since their discovery by Thomas Johann Seebeck in 1821, the “thermo electrical” properties of many different materials have been examined for use as thermocouples. The standards community together with modern metallurgy has developed special material pairs specifically for use as thermocouples. Table 1 displays industries’ eight popular standard thermocouples and their typical attributes. The letter type identifies a specific temperature-voltage relationship, not a particular chemical composition. Manufacturers may fabricate thermocouples of a given type with variations in composition; however, the resultant temperature versus voltage relationships must conform to the thermoelectric voltage standards associated with the particular thermocouple type. Complete sets of temperature versus voltage tables referenced to zero °C and including mathematical models for all popular industry standard thermocouples are available at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Testing, and can be downloaded free of charge from their web site, Reference 1. The reader is encouraged to examine this website for additional information.. Table 1 Standard Thermocouple Types
Type Materials* Typical Range °C

T 1, 2 J 1, 3 K E S B R N

Copper (Cu) vs Constantan Iron (Fe) vs Constantan Chromel vs Alumel Chromel vs Constantan (Pt-10%Rh) vs Pt (Pt-13% Rh) vs (Pt-6% Rh) (Pt-13%Rh) vs Pt (Ni-Cr-Si) vs (Ni-Si-Mg)

-270 to 400 -210 to 1200 -270 to 1370 -270 to 1000 -50 to 1768 0 to 1820 -50 to 1768 -270 to 1300

* Material Definitions: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Constantan, alloy of Nickel (Ni) - Copper (Cu) Chromel, alloy of Nickel (Ni) - Chromium (Cr) Alumel, alloy of Nickel (Ni) and Aluminum (Al) Magnesium (Mg), base element Platinum (Pt), base element Nickel (Ni) a base element Silicon (Si), a base element Chromium (Cr), a base element Iron (Fe), a base element Rhodium (Rh), a base element

Notes 1) Both the L and U Type thermocouples are defined by DIN Standard 43710; however, they are not as frequently used in new installations as the more popular T and J Type thermocouple standards. 2) The U Type thermocouple is similar to the popular standard T Type 3) The L Type thermocouple is similar to the popular standard J Type .

Equation 1 illustrates the power series model used for all thermocouples except K Type. D. These curves provide a visual indication of thermocouple ranges. The reader is referred to Dataforth’s Application Note AN106.00000E+00 1. and G Type thermocouples.AN107 Dataforth Corporation Page 2 of 8 Three additional thermocouple types used for high temperature measurements are C.03E-13 -8.80E-07 -2. G Type: W vs W-26%Re C Type W-5%Re vs W-26%Re D Type W-5%Re vs W-25%Re Where. Reference 2. and linearity Dataforth offers thermocouple input modules.97E-23 -5. Reference for the following examples and associated data is the NIST.15E-21 -1. Their wire compositions are. Their designation letters (C.15649E-05 0.35150E-01 -1. visit Dataforth’s website.00E+00 5. Reference 1. .64E-20 -3. 1 to model E Type thermocouple is shown for 3 significant digits in Table 2. 0°C. their output full-scale voltage is only millivolts with sensitivities in the microvolts per degree range and their response is nonlinear.58597E-01 -9.47E-29 Value 0 to 1000 °C (mV/°C) 0. These power series models use unique sets of coefficients which are different for different temperature segments within a given thermocouple type.87E-02 4.54356E-03 -7. 1 Where T is in degrees C The set of coefficients used in Eqn. which interface to all the above types. inverse models have been developed to determine temperatures from measured thermocouple voltages. National Institute of Standards and Testing. Reference 8. Unless otherwise indicated.24471E-14 Di Inverse Coefficients D0 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 ∑ C i × (T )i n .35627E-05 -1.50E-13 -1.87E-02 4.373 mV (°C/mV) 0.825 to 0 mV (°C/mV) 0.06298E-11 -3. nonetheless. they are available. Table 3 Inverse Coefficients for E Type Thermocouple Range –220 to 0 °C Value -8. scale factors. 3 VTC = i =0 Table 2 Coefficients C i for Type E Thermocouple C i Coefficients C0 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 Value -270 to 0 °C (mV/°C) 0. sensitivities.32E-12 -1.31E-10 6. The Thermocouple Analytical Model Standard mathematical power series models have been developed for each type of thermocouple.58E-08 -5.00000E+00 Range 0 to 1000 °C Value 0 to 76. D.40340E-04 -1.60E-28 These equations with their different sets of coefficients are difficult to use in directly determining actual temperatures when only a measured thermocouple voltage [VTC] is known.70570E+01 -2. °C n Eqn.92E-16 -1.00000E+00 1. Therefore. Figures 3 and 4 at the end of this Application Note displays typical voltage-temperature characteristics of the above thermocouples.95E-10 -9.13602E-03 -3.33018E-01 6.25E-18 2.50E-05 2.44E-24 3. website. 2 Where VTC is in millivolts The sample set of inverse coefficients for E Type thermocouples is shown for 6 significant digits in Table 3.mV Eqn.89E-08 -3.25029E-02 -2. “Introduction to Thermocouples” for the fundamentals of thermocouples.60843E-02 -4. “W” is Tungsten and “Re” is Rhenium Most all practical temperature ranges can be measured using thermocouples.04E-16 -4. G) are not recognized as standards by ANSI. T = i=0 ∑ Di × (VTC ) i .54E-05 -7.78960E-06 8. which is illustrated by Eqn. Equation 2 represents this inverse model.40362E-08 -1.58E-26 -3. all standard thermocouple models and tables are referenced to zero degrees Centigrade. even though.40E-18 -1.69773E+01 -4. For more details on these and other state-of-the-art modules.00E+00 5.37359E-09 1.

The reader is referred to Reference 8. these curves appear near linear for certain ranges of positive temperatures. Figure 3 illustrates that for negative temperatures. In addition. the fact remains that thermocouples are non-linear. S*(Tc-Tice). Although the operational temperature ranges over which thermocouples can be used is quite large. VTC = i=0 ∑ C i × (T ) i + A0 × e A × (T . as shown in Equation 4. the actual measured voltage must be adjusted so that it appears as referenced to zero °C. Reference 1. More details on this type thermocouple model are available from NIST web site. is the voltage obtained if connector temperature (Tc) were measured with the same type thermocouple as used to measure Tx. Such thermocouple signal conditioning modules including isolation and CJC are available from Dataforth. V1 = S*(Tx-Tice) . Module output voltages which have linear scale factors in volts per degree or amps per degree eliminate the need for look-up tables or power series expansions since the conversion from thermocouple volts to temperature is built into the linearized output scale factor. both of which are referenced to Tice. Linearization Accurate thermocouple measurements need signal conditioning modules with outputs. etc. Equation 4 can be mathematically rearranged to include the ice-point temperature (Tice). consequently. V2 = S*(Tc-Tice). RTD. field measurement topologies are made with the thermocouple connected to a connector that is not at zero °C. whereas. Nonetheless. Equation 3 represents the standard mathematical power series model for Type K thermocouples.A ) 1 2 2 n 2 . then. which are linearly scaled to temperature. This technique is known as “cold junction compensation” or CJC. The concept of electronically referencing thermocouple measurements to zero °C is shown in Figure 1. This “V2 scaling” is matched to the same type thermocouple as used to measure Tx. . in the microvolt per °C range. Dataforth’s Application Note AN106 for the derivation of these expressions.AN107 Dataforth Corporation V1 = S*(Tx-Tc) V2 scaled to = S*(Tc-Tice) Where Tice is zero °C or 32°F Page 3 of 8 Eqn. The connector temperature (Tc) is measured with a non-thermocouple sensor (diode. These curves are presented here to show a visual indication of standard thermocouple ranges. scaled to either volts per °C (°F) or amps per °C (°F).mV Eqn. 7 The output voltage (Vout) in Equation 7 can be entered directly into the appropriate type thermocouple reference table to determine the measured temperature. These conditioning modules provide the end-user with a linear output signal. In Figure 1 if G = 1. 4 Eqn. thermocouples’ response is very non-linear. Vout = (V1+V2)*G = S*(Tx-Tice). is the standard look-up table value needed for determining the unknown temperature (Tx).S*(Tc-Tice) Eqn. The voltage term. 3 is added to account for special effects. Figure 3 displays the voltage–temperature curves for eight of the most common thermocouples. have linearized the thermocouple voltages. Cold Junction Compensation (CJC) Technique Standard thermocouple look-up tables and models are referenced to zero °C. 5. magnitudes of output voltages. their sensitivity is small. G = 1 Eqn. 3 The exponential term [ A0 × e A1 ×(T . Modern signal conditioning modules have electronically resolved this situation and. however. The term. V1 Tx V2 Tc (V1+V2)*G V out Thermocouple Connector Output Figure 1 Cold Junction Compensation Concept In Figure 1. S*(Tx-Tice). the voltage V1 is Seebeck’s thermocouple voltage generated by the difference between the unknown temperature (Tx) and the connector temperature (Tc).) and the corresponding sensor voltage (V2) is electronically scaled to represent the same Seebeck thermocouple voltage (referenced to 0°C) that a thermocouple would read if used to measure Tc as indicated in Eqn.A2 ) ] in Eqn. in addition. nonlinearity and sensitivity (mV/°C). 6 Equation 6 shows the thermocouple voltage (V1) has two parts. Recall that V2 has been electronically scaled so that V2 equals this voltage. 5 It is noteworthy to mention here that K Type thermocouples require a slightly different power series model.

Use isolated signal conditioning modules to avoid ground loops. 3. This could avoid serious “noise” errors. chemical corrosion. It is obvious from Figure 2 that assuming a linear response for J Type thermocouples could result in nearly two degrees of error. like large lead wires. 4. etc that affect molecular structure anywhere along the length of the thermocouple wire can create errors. 7. Always examine thermocouple manufacturers specifications for conformity to standards. Always observe color code polarity. Microvolt Difference 2. radiation. Note: Some European manufacturers use the opposite color for positive and negative polarity than North American manufacturers. Centigrade Degrees The following is a list of some “mind joggers” for consideration when measuring temperature with thermocouples. Although modern PCs or other embedded microprocessors can linearize thermocouples using software techniques. 8. Thermocouple behavior depends on the materials’ molecular structure. Clearly. Use manufacturer’s recommended extension wires if long thermocouple leads are necessary. Errors due to thermocouple replacement should be avoided. linearization is necessary to facilitate accurate temperature measurements with thermocouples. which can cause errors Use twisted pair extension wires and signal conditioning modules with adequate filtering to help avoid EMI and RFI errors. Any heat conducting material. and interchangeability. Figure 5 of this Application shows a functional blockdiagram with typical specifications of a Dataforth thermocouple signal-conditioning module. may shunt heat away from the thermocouple. creating an error. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 50 100 150 Temperature. which provide precise linearization for their signal conditioning modules. To achieve linearity. 11. 6. 1. . specified temperature ranges. Module connectors should have no thermal gradients across the individual connections. Keep thermocouple lead lengths short. Always use thermocouple signal conditioning modules with appropriate input filtering. While on this web site. 5. thermocouples with iron composition are subject to rust. 10. Environmental conditions such as stress. For example. 9. For more details. the gain (G) in Figure 1 and Equation 7 is internally programmed to selectively scale the voltage function S*(Tx-Tice) to be a linear function of temperature with the units of volts per °C (°F) or milliamps per °C (°F). Figure 2 illustrates thermocouple non-linearity by plotting the difference between an ideal linear response and the response of a Type J thermocouple over the range of 0 to 150 °C. hardware linearization provides faster results and does not burden valuable computer resources. examine AN505 “Hardware Linearization of Non-linear Signals” on Dataforth’s website application note section. Figure 2 Output Voltage Difference Between Ideal Linear Sensor and J Type Thermocouple The sensitivity of a J Type thermocouple is approximately 54 µV/ °C. take a few moments to examine all of Dataforth’s complete line of thermocouple signal conditioning modules. Reproducibility and interchangeability between brands of thermocouple should be examined. Reference 9. Dataforth has developed proprietary circuit techniques.AN107 Dataforth Corporation Practical Considerations Page 4 of 8 As an example of non-linearity. Avoid “heat shunts” when installing thermocouples. Each thermocouple wire connected to the sensing module must be at the same temperature.

thermocouples in a “thermal well” have a slow response time. J. which can stimulate galvanic action and create electrochemical voltage errors. N. Considering using isolated modules to avoid such problems 15. E. Recall that temperature measurement response time is significantly impacted by the thermocouple package encapsulation. and T Type Thermocouples . R. These are “grounded thermocouples” and may cause ground loop problems. For example. Thermocouple enclosures are available with thermocouples connected to the enclosure. which have thermal response times equivalent to that of the measurement thermocouples.AN107 Dataforth Corporation Page 5 of 8 12. Figure 3 illustrates the spectrum of voltage-temperature characteristics of the most popular standard thermocouples 1700 B S R 1500 1300 N K 1100 Temperature (Centigrade Degrees) J 900 E 700 500 T 300 100 -10 -5 0 -100 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 Thermocouple Voltage (mV) -300 Figure 3 Voltage-Temperature Characteristics of B. Hostile corrosive environments combined with moisture and heat may cause corrosion. S. K. 13. which may cause undesirable hunting in a control loop 14. Ensure that signal conditioning modules with electronic CJC techniques use temperature-sensing devices.

AN107 Dataforth Corporation Page 6 of 8 Figure 4 illustrates the spectrum of voltage-temperature characteristics of high temperature thermocouples. which are not classified by ANSI. . 2380 C 2180 G D 1980 1780 Temperature(Centigrade Degrees) 1580 1380 1180 980 780 G 580 D 380 C 180 -20 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 Thermocouple Voltage mV Figure 4 Voltage-Temperature Characteristics of G. C Type Thermocouples . D.

superior accuracy and linearity. .AN107 Dataforth Corporation Page 7 of 8 Figure 5 illustrates an example of Dataforth’s SCM5B47 Isolated Linearized Thermocouple module. A special input circuit on the SCM5B47 modules provides protection against accidental connection of power-line voltages up to 240VAC. the Read-Enable pin. Two poles of this filter are on the field side of the isolation barrier. to I/O Common.dataforth. Signal filtering is accomplished with a six-pole filter. Each module is cold-junction compensated to correct for parasitic thermocouples formed by the thermocouple wire and screw terminals on the mounting backpanel. Its corresponding output signal operates over a 0V to +5V range. K. R. again using a proprietary technique to suppress transmission of common mode spikes or surges. Theses modules offer excellent isolation. After the initial field-side filtering. and the other four are on the computer side. pin 16. pin 19. ±20% tolerance. amplified. E. Downscale indication can be implemented by installing an external 47MW resistor. between screw terminals 1 and 3 on the SCMPB01/02/03/04/05/06/07 backpanels. linearized and converted to a high level analog voltage output (Figure 5). S. See Dataforth’s website http://www. isolated. T. If desired. The SCM5B modules are designed with a completely isolated computer side circuit. the input signal is chopped by a proprietary chopper circuit. The SCM5B47 can interface to eight industry standard thermocouple types: J. This complete isolation means that no connection is required between I/O Common and Power Common for proper operation of the output switch. Upscale open thermocouple detect is provided by an internal pull-up resistor. This voltage output is logic-switch controlled. allowing these modules to share a common analog bus without the requirement of external multiplexes. The module is powered from +5VDC. the output switch can be turned on continuously by simply connecting pin 22. and B. ±5%. N. Dataforth offers a complete line of modules for all thermocouple types. Isolation is provided by transformer coupling. which provides 95dB of normal-mode-rejection at 60Hz and 90dB at 50Hz. which can be floated to ±50V from Power Common.com Figure 5 Dataforth’s SCM5B47 Isolated Linearized Thermocouple Module Each SCM5B47 thermocouple input module provides a single channel of thermocouple input which is filtered.

iec. http://www. http://www. 8.rosemount.dataforth.astm.com/catalog/sign.omega.nist. National Institute of Standards and Testing. 4. pdf ASTM.com/document/man/2654_01j. www.dataforth.com/temperature/Z/pdf/z246.htm?OpenPage ANSI. “Introduction to Thermocouples” http://www.omega.org/ansidocstore/find.dataforth.com/catalog/sign.ansi.AN107 References 1. International Electrotechnical Commission https://domino. Dataforth Corporation Page 8 of 8 Standards Related to Thermocouples ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! DIN 43722 DIN 43714 DIN 43760 DIN 43710 IEC 304 IEC 751 DIN IEC 548 ANSI MC 96-1-82 JIS C 1602-1981 5. 9. http://www.nsf/webstore_se arch.asp?route_t o=app_notes . American National Standards Institute http://webstore.in.org/search/iatoc IEC. 3. American Society for Testing and Materials http://www. 6.com Rosemount. “Hardware Linearization of Non-linear Signals”.ch/webstore/home.a sp b. 7.com/temperature/Z/zsection. 2. http://srdata. NIST.pdf Omega.in. http://www. a.asp?route_t o=app_notes Application Note AN505.gov/its90/main/ Dataforth Corp.asp? Application Note AN106.

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